Research Assistant in Archaeometry

This job offer has expired

    Université de Bordeaux / University of Bordeaux
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    28/02/2022 23:00 - Europe/London
    France › Talence


The GPR ‘Human Past’: our group and our research

The GPR (Grand Programme de Recherche) ‘Human Past’ is an interdisciplinary research project supported by the University of Bordeaux's Initiative d’Excellence. ‘Human Past’ gathers ~110 researchers from 3 laboratories (PACEA, AUSONIUS, and Archéosciences Bordeaux) affiliated with the University of Bordeaux (UB) and the University of Bordeaux Montaigne (UBM). Our expertise combines Biological Anthropology, Classical and Medieval Archaeology, Prehistory, Protohistory, History, Epigraphy, Archaeometry, Geochronology and Computer Science Applications to Cultural Heritage.

’Human Past’ aims to document, characterize and understand the tipping points that have induced major biological and cultural changes within past human populations. Spanning a large chronological period (from Prehistory to historical times), our research aims to identify the steps that enabled a primate originally adapted to African ecosystems to evolve into a species that occupies and impacts every ecosystem on the planet. Biological and social systems will be scrutinized at different scales from a multitude of perspectives with particular attention paid to phenotypic and genetic variability, cognition, technology, social organization, belief systems, and genetic and cultural adaptive strategies that drive human societies.

This position advertisement belongs to the first part of the funding scheme, planned for 4 years.

Project description

The recruited research assistant will be assigned to the research team “Colour”, at UMR ‘Archéosciences Bordeaux’, within the framework of Action 1 in WP5 of the GPR “Human Past”. This research concerns Cultural Heritage, and more particularly the production, conservation, perception and digital restoration of colour. The research assistant will support the team to carry out non-invasive and mainly contactless analyses on the archaeological objects studied in which colour is present (e.g., ceramics, marbles, monumental sculptures, textiles, paintings). The candidate will also play a key role in the creation of a database of reference spectra obtained from mockups made according to ancient recipes. The mastery of analytical tools such as fiber optic reflectance spectrometry, hyperspectral imaging in the visible and infrared, Raman spectrometry, SEM-EDXS, X-ray fluorescence, and fluorimetry will be necessary even if specific training will be provided. The research assistant will also be required to go on field missions (i.e., excavation site, museum, church) to carry out sampling or/and analyses campaigns. They will have to set up an analytical protocol, carry out the analyses and write the report relating to the experiments done. Obviously, this work will be conducted under the supervision and the validation of the researcher responsible for the project.

Adequacy of the project with the objectives of the GPR

Through the study of colour in ancient materials, we will contribute not only to the advancement of knowledge but also on the development of novel methodologies, which can lead significant contributions in other disciplines. We will conduct ground-breaking research in this field that will serve to develop new standards for the analysis and preservation of these often fragile resources, and improve our understanding of the societies that passed them on to us. The colours observed are not the same as those that existed in the past. Even when well-preserved, cultural biases affect the way in which we perceive and classify colours. Natural degradation of the pigment or dyes, landfill, past restoration, lighting, and use are just a few of the factors that may affect our reading of coloured objects and surfaces. The study of colour materials and their degradation will be enriched by conducting explorative phases of experimental archaeology to make model samples that will allow not only to proceed to accelerated aging but also to build specific databases of reference spectra facilitating the identification of materials.

More Information

Selection process

The candidate will submit their application, consisting of a letter of motivation (2 pages max.) and a CV (including list of publications, if applicable), to the supervisors mentioned in the job description, and to Adrien Pourtier (adrien.pourtier@u-bordeaux.fr), Francesco D'Errico (francesco.derrico@u-bordeaux.fr) and Adeline Le Cabec (adeline.le-cabec@u-bordeaux.fr), before February 28, 2022.

Offer Requirements


The candidate must:

- hold a Master’s degree in archaeometry, material science, physics or chemistry / Master en archéométrie, sciences des matériaux, physique ou chimie.

- be experienced in spectroscopic techniques (e.g., MEB/EDS, hyperspectral imaging or Fibre Optic Reflectance Spectroscopy (FORS), Raman, XRF) and coloured materials (i.e., ceramics, pigments, dyes, binders)

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Université de Bordeaux / University of Bordeaux
351 cours de la Libération

EURAXESS offer ID: 727899


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